Introducing the ‘Difference’ course

Emma Crick de Boom, Reconciliation Enabler for the Diocese of Coventry, introduces the ‘Difference’ course.

We are all too aware that we live in a world of harmful conflict and painful division. Many of us long to make a difference, but don’t often know how to respond to the situations that confront us. The five-session ‘Difference’ course was written to help us to explore how we can follow Jesus in our everyday experiences of conflict and division. ‘Difference’ has been co-created, piloted and run with a diverse range of churches, denominations and contexts, both in the UK and internationally.

The theology behind the ‘Difference’ course is our call as Christian to be reconcilers to one another and to creation, as we ourselves have been reconciled to God. The story of Jesus has reconciliation at its heart and, as such, is increasingly important at this time. There is a deep recognition of the need for Christians and the Church to be equipped to cross divides, navigate disagreement and engage with difference. The ‘Difference’ course equips people to do this.

Through a series of interactive sessions, the ‘Difference’ course creates an open and hopeful environment for groups to explore some of the tough issues and to move forward with confidence. It is designed to be used by both large and small groups, meeting online or in-person. The course isn’t about a new to-do list and there’s no one-size-fits-all action plan to enable relationships to thrive. Rather, it is about spiritual formation, recognising the need for new patterns of speaking, thinking, praying and acting. Lasting change happens when we allow God to shape who we are and the values we live by. The ‘Difference’ course gives a framework for this formation, through the application of three habits:

  • Being curious – Listening to others’ stories and see the world through their eyes.
  • Being present – Encountering others with authenticity and confidence.
  • Re-imagining – Finding hope and opportunity in the places where we long to see change.

By setting up an account on the Training and Resources Hub, you can now access all host training content in one place, at a time and pace that suits you. Browse the ‘Difference’ website HERE. By signing up to receive the ‘Difference’ newsletter HERE, you will be able to watch a five-part film series by Archbishop Justin Welby under the title, ‘Faith in a conflicted world.’ Contact Emma Crick de Boom at THIS ADDRESS.

A gathering for hosts of the ‘Difference’ course will take place in person on the afternoon of Saturday 5 February 2022 at St Michael’s Church, 365A Walsgrave Road, Coventry CV2 4BG. The gathering is for people who have run the ‘Difference’ course, for those who are considering doing so. The event will be led by a panel of facilitators and speakers from across the midlands. Information and registration for this event can be found via THIS LINK.


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